As any gardener knows, a great pair of gardening boots are worth their weight in gold. They’ll allow you to garden in all weathers, giving you a firm footing whether you’re planting, weeding or tidying up.
But when it comes to choosing a new pair of boots, the range of options can be bewildering. That’s where we come in! We’ve taken a look at ten of the best gardening boots available online. And we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about their good – and not-so-good – points.
So step this way, and let’s find the perfect fit!
Quick Pick: The Best Gardening Shoes
The Best Gardening Shoes on UK Market 2021
1. Fereshte Men’s Waterproof Ankle Boots
Fereshte’s ankle boots for men offer a cut-down take on the good old wellie. As a result, they’re very easy to get on and off. And they’re lighter than a full wellie too.
They’ve got a good, thick rubber sole, with deep grips so you won’t slip and slide in bad weather. And they mean it’s easy to get a good purchase on the top of your spade or fork too.
The uppers are made of polyvinyl chloride, so the water will just roll off. Inside there’s a textile lining to help prevent your feet from sweating. This has a camouflage print, and it also forms a trim on top of the boot. It’s a nice touch of style for an otherwise plain black boot.
These are easy to clean. Just hose them off and wipe them over with a paper towel, and they’re ready to wear again.
The sizing is somewhat unusual. With the exception of the size 9, they come in half sizes only. You can buy men’s sizes from 5.5 to 10.5, but there’s a 9 instead of an 8.5. We guess it has something to do with the conversion from European sizing.
And don’t be caught out by the number on the bottom of the sole. The one that looks like it might be UK sizing is actually the mold number. So don’t worry that you’ve been sent the wrong size.
In any case, you’ll find these fit up generously. If you’re between sizes, we’d recommend moving up to the next size and adding an insole or a pair of thick socks. That’s a better option than squished toes.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Thick sole with deep grips
- Easy to clean
- The sizing is a little eccentric
- Only available in black.
2. Dunlop Unisex Gardening Shoe
Dunlop make great outdoor footwear, and these unisex gardening shoes are no exception.
The simple design allows them to be slipped on and off easily. They come in the traditional green of the best wellington boots. And they look like wellies too, albeit ones that only cover your foot; these stop below your ankle, just like loafers. They won’t win any prizes for style, but they’re very practical.
They’re made of rubber, with a simple synthetic lining. They’re completely waterproof, and there’s a strong, thick sole with deep grips. These will be every bit as good as standard wellies at helping you keep your footing in a muddy garden.
There’s a low heel, creating a step that’s great for staying steady when you’re stamping down on a garden fork.
There’s no cushioning in these, though. If you plan to wear them for long periods, you may want to invest in a padded insole.
And because they’re just rubber with a synthetic lining, they’re not particularly warm. Buy a size that will allow you to wear them with a pair of thick socks if you plan on winter gardening. They’re available in whole sizes only, from 3 to 12.
- Waterproof and easy to clean
- Thick sole with deep grips
- Low heel
- They don’t offer much insulation – wear them with thick socks if you’re gardening in the winter
- No cushioning inside.
3. Dunlop Unisex Wellington Boots
So far we’ve looked at boots that are a bit like wellies. Now it’s time to look at some honest-to-goodness wellington boots!
These unisex wellies again come from Dunlop, and they’re all about practicality. Here you have a choice of two colours: the same traditional shade of green as Dunlop’s gardening shoes, or classic black. They’re not particularly eye-catching – they’re just good, sturdy wellies.
There’s a block heel 2 centimetres high, and the arch is reinforced. That makes it great for stamping down on spades or forks. The grips are nice and deep too, so you won’t need to worry about slipping on wet or muddy ground.
These wellies are lightweight but strong, with a good, thick sole. And the legs have a generous width, so they’ll still be comfy for those with curvier or more muscular calves. If you have slimmer legs, though, you may want to tuck in your trousers or wear thick socks. Otherwise you may find them a bit “flappy”.
The sizes here are unisex, and you can choose from whole sizes between 3 and 12. Women in particular may find the sizing rather generous – but that does provide room for a thick pair of socks. If you find they’re too roomy, adding an insole will give you a snugger fit.
- Thick sole with a block heel and deep grips
- Generous leg width, so they’ll be comfortable for those with bigger calves
- Reinforced arch, perfect for stamping down on forks or spades
- If you have narrower feet or slimmer calves, you may find them a little loose if worn without thick socks
- More substance than style – they’re available in olive green and black only.
4. Dunlop Unisex Half-Leg Wellies (Our Top Pick)
If you want more protection than you’ll get from an ankle boot, but find full wellies a struggle to get on and off, consider a half-leg option. These are our third and final pick from Dunlop, and we think they’re the cream of the crop.
They’re available in the standard Dunlop palette of green or black. In this case, you can also mix things up with a green upper and black sole.
That sole is really thick, keeping your foot away from the cold ground. It’s made of flexible rubber, so despite the depth, it’s surprisingly light and flexible. You won’t feel like you’re stomping around in moon boots! And there are the trademark Dunlop deep treads to help you keep your footing.
The boots measure about 30 centimetres from the sole to the top. The lower leg height is good for people with curvy or muscular calves. It also means the tops are less likely to stick to your skin in warmer weather.
The opening has a generous circumference of 40 centimetres. But of course, there’s no guarantee they’ll fit all legs! One customer with very wide calves still had to cut sections out of the top to get them on.
They’re wide for most people to comfortably wear these with a pair of thick socks. You’ll need them in colder weather, as there’s no other insulation here. The good news is that you won’t need to worry about wet feet, as the boots are completely waterproof.
- Good compromise between the protection of a full-length wellie and the wearability of a shoe
- Deep yet flexible sole with a good set of grips
- Generous width for wearing with thick socks
- No insulation – so you’ll need those socks in colder weather
- Not much choice when it comes to colour.
5. Dirt Boot Unisex Neoprene Ankle Boot
Those looking for a sturdy and waterproof ankle boot for gardening should check out this offering from Dirt Boot.
These boots are designed to be easy to get on and off, with a kick rim and pull tags at the back. The uppers are made of 5-millimetre-thick neoprene, so they fit snugly and are completely waterproof.
The flexible soles are made of rubber, and there’s a cleat to provide extra support when pressing down on a spade. The backs are reinforced to protect your Achilles tendons.
They come in a choice of olive green or black. The bottom of the sole in both cases is black, with a intermediary layer of grey. They’re available in sizes from 4 all the way up to 14. There are no half-sizes though.
If you have narrow feet, you may find them rather too roomy. A thick pair of socks will help. But you’ll probably do better with lace-up boots that you can tighten around your foot.
These are a good choice for gardeners looking to get to work in all weathers. As well as the waterproof construction, you’ll benefit from cotton lining. This will wick away moisture, keeping your feet dry and cool in summer, warm in winter.
- Sturdy and waterproof
- Cotton lining to keep your feet dry and comfortable
- Extra support on the sole to help when pressing down on a fork or spade
- Those with narrower feet may find them rather too roomy
- Not available in half-sizes.
6. Joules Women’s Wellibob Rain Boot
Women looking for a gardening boot with bags of style should check out these gorgeous rain boots from Joules. They’re navy with yellow accents and white polka dots, so you’ll really cut a dash in the garden!
They finish at your ankle, and there are elasticated inserts at the side to help you slip them on and off. Coordinating pull tags at the back are a helpful extra.
Both the uppers and the sole are made of natural rubber, so they won’t let in water. And the sole is nice and thick, with good, deep grips and an inch-high block heel.
They’re unlined, but there’s a removeable faux fur insole to keep your feet nice and toasty when it’s cold.
One thing to note with these is that the elasticated side vent is vulnerable to splitting. The good news is that you’ll have the reassurance of a one-year guarantee. And we’ve heard positive reports of the response when customers have needed to call on this.
These are a generous fit and there are no half-sizes. If you usually take a half-size, we’d recommend going down – especially if you have narrow feet. But if you usually take a whole size, order what you’d usually wear. You’ll have enough room for thick socks, but they should fit fine.
- Funky and distinctive design
- Easy to take on and off
- Removeable faux fur insole to keep your feet cosy in colder weather
- Vulnerable to splitting at the side vents – though note there’s a one-year guarantee
- No half-sizes available.
7. Crocs Women’s Jaunty Short Boot
Fans of Crocs’ distinctive footwear will love this short boot that’s perfect for working in the garden.
It has the same round toe and roomy upper you’ll find in their beach shoes. But here, everything is covered over to keep your feet snug and dry.
The boots are available in no less than 11 different colours – including black, navy and different shades of yellow, pink and blue. Each has a contrasting white disc on the side. This will give you something to grip onto as you put on or remove your boots.
These pull circles do, however, have a hole in the middle, which can let in water. Fortunately, the distance from the ground means you’d need to wade through deep puddles for this to cause real problems.
The Crocs logo appears on the back of the heel. The whole boot is made of synthetic material. There’s a molded croslite shaft to provide plenty of cushioning without being heavy.
For most people, the boot will finish somewhere above your ankle and just below the mid-calf point.
Some people have found that the fit doesn’t suit them. The shape traps air that is then expelled when walking, making a rather embarrassing noise! Unfortunately there’s no way to tell if this will be an issue for you without trying them.
- Classic design for lovers of Crocs
- Molded croslite construction offers cushioning whilst remaining lightweight
- Choice of three colours
- The pull circles mean there’s an opportunity for water to get in at the sides
- Depending on the shape of your foot and leg, you may get squelching noises when you walk!
8. Muck Wetland Unisex Premium Field Boots
If you’re looking for a unisex knee-height garden boot, the Wetland from Muck might be for you. It’s a good-looking and sturdy boot – but you’ll have to be prepared to splash some cash. This is the most expensive option on our list by some way.
There’s a thick, rugged rubber sole with deep treads to help you keep your footing on uneven or muddy ground.
The shell of the boot is made of neoprene, so it will fit snugly around your foot. It’s overlaid with rubber over the foot, reaching half-way up your calf. That will give extra protection from sharp sticks or stones.
There’s no rubber on the upper part, allowing you to roll down the boots in warmer weather. But you’ll need to take care with that part – it’s fairly easy to tear or damage it.
The shaft has a circumference of 17 inches. Inside, there’s a molded EVA insole for comfort, and Airmesh lining to keep your feet dry. These are great boots for extreme climates. Your feet will stay comfortable in temperatures as low as minus 29 degrees Celsius. And they’ll stay cool on hot days too.
Some people may find these boots a little heavy. But that sturdy sole is great for digging and navigating rougher ground.
- Thick, sturdy sole
- Choice of rolling down the top of the boot in warmer weather
- Airmesh lining wicks away moisture from around your foot
- It’s fairly easy to tear the part of the boot that’s just neoprene
- Some people find them rather heavy.
9. Muckster II Men’s Ankle-Height Garden Boots
The Muckster II is a great choice for men looking for a lightweight yet robust ankle-height gardening boot.
It’s made of neoprene, so it fits snugly around the ankle to keep out moisture and debris. The foot is covered with rubber to give it extra strength and offer protection from sharp stones or thorns.
The distance from the arch to the top of the boot is about 6 inches. These are a good option if you want a boot rather than a shoe, but need something easy to get on and off. There are pull tags on the back to help.
There’s also a thick, sturdy sole. And there are deep grips, so you’ll be able to keep your footing even on wet, muddy or icy ground.
This is another boot that employs Airmesh lining, so your feet will stay comfortable and dry in all temperatures. It’s comfort rated from below freezing all the way up to 18 degrees Celsius.
It comes in a range of six different colours, with shades of brown and green as well as black. The look is solid and workmanlike.
There aren’t any half-sizes with these – if in doubt which size to order, it’s best to go up. And note that, while they’re great for walking on grass or soil, the treads will wear down over time if you’re walking on hard surfaces.
- Comfortable to wear in mild or cold temperatures
- Easy to get on and off
- Good, sturdy sole
- Not available in half-sizes
- The grips will wear down over time if you wear them on hard surfaces like concrete.
10. Sloggers Men’s Waterproof Garden Shoes
Sloggers waterproof garden shoes for men are lightweight and waterproof – and they’re very reasonably priced.
They come in a choice of black or – er – black, and the design is nothing to get excited about. But if you’re looking for a plain and practical gardening shoe, they’re a great choice.
They’re made entirely of rubber, so they won’t let in water. And they’re light on your feet too. Inside, there’s a cushioned insole for extra comfort. And the sole has deep treads to prevent slips and falls.
They’re made in the USA, and they’re a good choice for gardeners concerned about their environmental impact. The whole shoe is completely recyclable.
There are no half-sizes, but if you’re between sizes, go up to the next one. If you find they’re a little roomy, adding an insole will take care of that. And note that some people find the fit a little loose at the heel.
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Contains a cushioned insole for extra comfort
- Completely recyclable
- No half-sizes are available
- Some people find them a little loose at the heel.
Still wondering which are the right gardening boots for you? Read on for some simple questions to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
Check the size
Before you decide you’ve found the perfect gardening boots, check the sizes that are available! Some styles are designed for men, some for women, and some for both. Some offer half sizes, while others don’t. And some are true to size, while others fit large or small.
If you’ve chosen a shoe that doesn’t come in half-sizes and you normally take a half, it’s usually best to go up a size. That’s the case even if you have narrow feet. The shoe will otherwise be too short, and you’ll restrict your toes.
If you find the larger size too roomy, fill up the space with an insole. It will add extra cushioning too.
Look at the sole
When it comes to gardening boots, the sole is at least as important as the upper. Look for options that have a good, deep tread. These will keep you stable on slippery ground.
Check the depth of the platform too. You’ll want something thick enough to keep out sharp sticks or thorns. And check for reinforcement beneath the arch. That will help when it comes to pressing on garden forks or spades.
If you’re able to try before you buy, check how flexible the sole is too. Some online retailers will include photos showing a hand bending the sole. That’s a great sign. It means it will bend with your foot, and will be much more comfortable over long periods of gardening.
Make sure they’ll weather the weather
Finally, consider the climate you’ll be working in. If you’re in an area that gets very hot or cold temperatures, look for options with cotton or mesh lining. These will keep your feet warm and dry.
Some boots also have “comfort ratings”. These tell you the range of temperatures they’re comfortable to be worn in.
Check too that the boots are waterproof. Materials like rubber and neoprene are a good start. But also check for seams or fastenings that could let in water as you work.
Ready to choose your new gardening boots?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to ten of the best pairs of gardening boots out there! Whatever size or style you’re looking for, there’s plenty to choose from.
Our top pick is the unisex half-leg wellies from Dunlop. We love their sturdy construction and thick soles. And we especially love how easy they are to put on and take off.
But whichever boots you choose, we hope you’re soon putting them through their paces in your garden. Happy shopping!